Conference organizer: University of Zaragoza
Dates: 26th-28th April 2017
Venue: Instituto de Ciencias de la Educación. Universidad de Zaragoza
“Transmodern Perspectives on Contemporary Literatures in English” is a three-day conference, to he held at the University of Zaragoza. It aims at exploring the traces of what has been called “transmodernity” in contemporary literatures in English, as there is a need to rethink our context from a different perspective or cultural paradigm. In order to achieve this aim, we propose to engage in a dialogue with contemporary literary texts, literary theory and cultural studies meant to test the applicability of this concept and its utility as a tool to better understand contemporary trends in literature.
The concept of “transmodernity” has been used by thinkers belonging in different fields. The philosopher Enrique Dussel, for example, describes as transmodern those theories from Third-World cultures that have incorporated the subaltern other. Philosophers of Law such as Marc Luyckx, Ziauddin Sardar or Etienne Le Roy have used the concept to describe those societies that attempt to reconcile progress with respect for cultural differences. And, in the field of architecture, Marcos Novak has used the term to define the liquid architectures existing in cyberspace. The feminist writer and philosopher Rosa María Rodríguez-Magda has used the term transmodernity to refer to the dialectical synthesis of modernity and postmodernity that would describe a globalized, rhizomatic, technological society arising in the countries of the First World, characterized by the opposition to otherness while at the same time penetrating and assuming it, trying to transcend the surrounding hyperreal and relativistic closure. Moreover, our contemporary glocalised context makes the necessity to harmonise the concept with the current emphasis on local, ethic, sexual and other group and individual differences an imperative. According to this new paradigm, postmodernity would be the conclusion or culmination of modernity, and transmodernity would entail a criticism of the two earlier periods from the material, social, and spiritual viewpoints. In a sense, transmodernity becomes almost an umbrella term that comprehends all that is virtual, transnational, trans-ethnically cosmopolitan, connective, glocal, strategic and transubiquitous, among other things, and such generality might require for a reconceptualization of the term.
These precedents justify our aim of refining the definition of transmodernity and of employing the transcultural as a provisional research perspective to analyse contemporary works of art.